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she requested them to be silent till she had put it in; for if they talk during that process, they think it would not swell."-vol. i. pp. 258, 259.

As impurity had its worshippers in the north in the filthy adoration of Freyr, so has Ceylon a similar disgusting spectacle in the worship of the goddess Patiné.* Thus, again, we perceive that no matter what may be the quarter of the globe on which we may fix our eyes, we can discover but in one place before the Incarnation of our Lord, and that the poor province of Palestine, the religion of the people in accordance with the knowledge professed by their priesthood; and in no place, since that great epoch, any people whose religion is unstained with impure practices, but that place in which the true church of God is established.

We cannot part from this subject without calling attention to the fact, that in all the traditions of the men of the north, as well as of the people of Ceylon, in this respect the same as the Indians, there is traceable the account of the fall of the angels-of evil spirits contending against the Most High God. We hear of it in the wars of the Titans; but, comparing the sagas of the Northmen with the myths of the Buddhists, there is this curious statement elicited, that the angels in the sagas of the north become changed into the demons of the Indian myths.

"Odin," it is stated by Geyer in his History of the Swedes, "is father of all, father of gods and men, father of time; the earth born of night is his progenitress; the earth irradiated by the sun is his daughter and spouse, when with his brethren he has subdued and deposed Matter, typified by the body of the giant Ymer, slain in the abyss. The twelve divine Asce, a bright and beautiful kin, form his council of gods. In conjunction with him they are also the first priests, the first lawgivers, and judges upon earth, builders of the first temple and the first town. Their chief city is Asgard of ancient days, lying in the centre of Midgard, or Manhem, the world of men, divided by a wall from Jotunhem, the home of the giants, at the end of the earth, where, under the uttermost root of the world-tree, in the realms of darkness and of cold, the dwarfs too have their abode.

"There was a happy time, when the gods invented the arts

* Ozanam, Les Germains avant le Christianisme, p. 44; Pridham, i. p. 259.

most indispensable to man's life, wrought metals, stone, and wood, possessed abundance of gold, showed in all things their divine power, sported, and were merry; until their bliss was disturbed by the arrival of certain giant maids from Jotunhem, the peace made with the race of giants was broken, Odin hurled his spear amidst the people, and the first war was kindled. Then began the victorious, but direful strife against that evil race......... Cold and heat, from whose intermixture this world arose, send their demons out of Nifelhem and Mospelhem to a war in which the gods themselves are overthrown. Then, after the conflagration of the world, a new earth arises, verdant with self sown fields, the home of a race whose lives are unvexed with toil."*

The Aso, a council of gods in the hyperborean legends, are in the traditions of the Singhalese converted into Asurs, and enemies of the gods-"the epithet Asur being one bestowed by the Brahmins upon the infidels of Lanka and of Southern India," and so used "as a term of general opprobrium in reference to a giant, a demi-god, a devil, or imitator," and of their leader it was declared, as if he were as great a magician as Odin: "where Rawana remains, there the sun loses its force; the winds through fear of him do not blow; the fire ceases to burn, the rolling ocean seeing him ceases to move its waves." And here we may observe that the race of men-the Asæ "the founders of cities," supposed to be amongst the first inhabitants of the north, were also believed to be the first inventors of the magic arts. "Inde magicarum artium inventores Asæ vulgo perhibentur."I therefore the Asaland people were called incantation"And smiths."S

Much and interesting information respecting the idolatry and devil-worship that has for centuries prevailed in Ceylon, will be found in the following extract:

"The powers and attributes of the gods and demons of the Singhalese," remarks Forbes," are not well defined; they appear to be immaterial spirits of a nature superior to man, but limited in power, knowledge, and existence. Thus, the greatest of these deities, Maha Brahma, is a being of wonderful power and of vast

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Geyer's History of Sweden, translated by J. H. Turner, p. 5.
† Pridham, vol. i. p. 23.

Torfæus, lib. iii. c. 17, vol. i. p. 144.

§ Inglinga Saga, c. 7.


comprehension, but inferior to the successive Buddhas in wisdom, purity, excellence, and knowledge, although superior in strength: that spirit, like all the higher order of beings in Buddhism, rose from a common station to his present exalted one by his virtue ; and after existing thus for some thousands of years, will either attain Niwanè, or relapse into his original obscurity. Four of these deities are supposed to have a peculiar influence over mankind. There are vices and crimes, moreover, charged in the history of the gods, while the devils seem to respect the virtues which they do not practise, and their forbearance must be purchased by offerings and propitiatory ceremonies. The wild and wooded nature of the island, and the now thinly scattered population, naturally tend to superstition; for when the country was prosperous and populous, the Buddhist religion was maintained in the greatest purity.

"The temples of the gods are called dewalés, and the priests kapuralls. In them there is always some relic or emblem of a martial character, such as bows, shields, spears, swords, or arrows; and if any person wished to erect a temple, he affected to discover by the aid of some inspiration, astrology, or other pretence, and with much ceremony and mystery, an arrow of the god, or some other relic, which lay concealed in the spot selected for the building. The will of the god having been thus miraculously ascertained, the work was commenced, and by permission of the king the temple might be endowed, and have the same privileges as a Buddhist wiharé. The qualifications of a kapurall are of no high order; they are not educated for their office, or regularly ordained; nothing is required, with the exception of caste, and the observance of a certain mode of living considered essential to purity and they display merely cunning sufficient to dupe the superstitious, whose offerings they generally contrive to appropriate to themselves, and physical power enough to enable them to go through the violent exertions and hideous contortions which they display, and call dancing and inspiration. Knox mentions, that when thus inspired every word they uttered was looked upon as spoken by God himself, and the people would address them as gods. These ceremonies are accompanied by tom toms, pipes, chank-shells, halamba (hollow metal rings), and other discordant noises. Over the principal temples are placed overseers, who have charge of the revenues, and are guardians of the relic. They are laymen of rank, and do not take any part in the fatiguing ceremonial and frantic orgies, which in this superstition are considered to conciliate the deity invoked.

"Planets are believed by the Singhalese to be controlling spirits, for whom certain ceremonies and incantations are prescribed to be performed by those who are thought to be under the power of their malignant influence; these ceremonies are called Bali, and are a combination of astrology with demon-worship. Bali is used

to express sacrifice to the planets or to demons, also offerings to deceased ancestors. Balia, according to Forbes, is an image of clay, made and worshipped by a person suffering under sickness and misfortune; it is supposed to represent the controlling planet under which such person was born; and for this purpose, as well as on all eventful occasions, his handahana, an astrological breviary with which every Kandian is provided, and which contains his horoscope, is submitted to the inspection of an astrologer, who directs the necessary ceremonies, such as the playing of pipes, beating of drums, and dancing; according to Knox, the images were then placed on the roads to be trodden under foot. These latter are always celebrated at night, and terminate before sunrise. Victuals always form part of the offering; and the whole ceremony, as well as the name, appears to be identical with the superstition of Bel and the Dragon. Bali, the controlling planets; and the Dragon, Rahu, the causer of eclipses.

"Not only the Veddahs, with whom it was till lately general, but a great proportion of the population, make offerings to ancestors and disembodied spirits of the virtuous dead. The antiquity of these ceremonies Forbes has traced to the Ramayana, in which, he says, it is stated, that the efficiency of a son's virtues and a pilgrimage to Gaya were sufficient to release a parent from hell. The offerings to ancestors appear to be intended for the double purpose of propitiating ancestral spirits, and rescuing them from a species of purgatory.

Demon-worship is on the increase in Ceylon, and appears destined to rise on the ruins of Buddhism. Among the infernal or malignant spirits, to whom they are attracted by fear rather than affection, some will be found as heroes who are enrolled on the unsuccessful side in the wars of the Rama and Rawana; others are national misfortunes or bodily afflictions, to which superstition has given a form. Thus, pestilence is a red-eyed demon; there are also demons of the forest and the flood, tempest, and malaria; demons which sport in the strong scent of insalubrious blossom bearing trees, such as the mee-tree; demons of the Sohon Pola (cemetery), who inhabit tombs and roam through burying-grounds; and, lastly, the demons mental individuality may conjure up. The belief in the power of these evil spirits, the attention which is paid to propitiatory offerings, such as the sacrifice of a red cock, with the view of averting and repelling misfortunes supposed to be impending, are very general; yet many who practise theso unhallowed rites in private, vehemently denounce them in public. Demon-worship would seem to have been a superstition of the aboriginal inhabitants that was never entirely abandoned, and though severely censured by Gautama Buddha, was sanctioned by various kings of Ceylon, and Panduwasa, B. c. 500, Sirisangabo, A. D. 239, Bojas, A. D. 340, issued royal edicts for the encouragement and regulation of demon-worship."-vol. i. pp. 307, 308, 309.

But we pass from these details with respect to all false forms of faith, to that which is the only real and true religion. In the annals of Ceylon, one of the great heroes of the Catholic church St. Francis Xavierappears, for he blessed the island with his presence, and despite of long, long years of persecution, the fruits of his labours are still visible.

We have already remarked, that full and accurate information upon every subject connected with Ceylon can be found in Mr. Pridham's book, but one-and that is the history of the Catholic church in the island, and especially the account of St. Francis Xavier's labours in the promotion and advancement of that church. We shall at once convict Mr. Pridham by his own words of inattention and inaccuracy as far as regards St. Francis Xavier. Mr. Pridham, in referring to the events that occurred in Ceylon in the year 1542, says:

"Don Juan, or Dharmapala, was at length really elevated to the throne (A. D. 1542), and christian baptism administered to him and many of the nobles with great solemnity, by Alphonso Perera, a priest brought from Goa."-vol. i. p. 91.


The formularies and doctrines of the Romish church were first introduced into Ceylon, in 1542, by the celebrated Francis Xavier, who has been styled the Apostle of the Indies."-vol. i. p. 436.

Now, which of these is the correct statement? We believe, although inconsistent with each other, that neither is literally true, not even according to the statements previously made by Mr. Pridham himself in vol. i. pp. 11, 84, 85, 86.

In the perusal of this work, there is nothing we have more admired in its author than his anxiety to ascertain facts for himself, to search out original authorities, to compare statements, and to test their accuracy and their relative value with each other; but when he has to deal with the character and conduct of a canonized saint of the Catholic church, he never deems it to be necessary to look to the life of that saint, even though a slight research would have rendered it plain that there was a life of St. Francis Xavier written by no less an ornament to English literature than the "glorious John" Dryden ;* that

See vol. xvi. of Scott's Edition of Dryden's Works.

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